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lice and Highways England have moved on, fined or immobilised a total of 2,748 lorries as part of joint enforcement work. The issue has been highlighted by

the Mid Kent MP Helen Whately, whohas secured a government com- mitment to finding extra spaces where lorries can safely park. Her constituents complain so-called fly- parking is dangerous, antisocial, un- hygienic and illegal. But despite the clampdown, the practice is still widespread and a daily occurrence in many parts of the borough and the county. Nowa borough councillor has de- manded that more fixed penalty no- tices are issued and the fines rigorously pursued. Residents whose lives are affected

by rogue truckers claim they gouge deep tyre tracks in soft verges, de- stroy kerbs and toss litter and humanwaste from their vehicles. Officers from the two agencies tar-

geted HGVs parked on the hard shoulder and motorway slip roads. Chief InspectorAmanda Tillotson

of Kent Police said: "While we have noticed an improvement in behav- iour and attitudes, there are still some HGV drivers who think they are above the law and continue to park illegally and antisocially on hard shoulders and motorway slip roads. "This kind of behaviour is unac-

Teenager faces

drugs charges A TEENAGER has been charged with seven offences of drug push- ing by officers investigating crime in Maidstone. Robert Deards (19), was arrested

by patrols after they became suspi- cious of a stationary vehicle in Brenchley Road. He was later charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply. While in custody, Mr Deards, of Hunsdon Close, Eastchurch, was also charged with six unrelated of- fences. These concern alleged drug supply in Rainham, Medway. Three other people, all from Maidstone, were also arrested in Brenchley Road. They are a 50 year- old man, a 21-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy. They have been bailed, pending further enquiries, until February 1, 2017.

Anyone who sees anything sus- picious or has any information should call 101, or 999 if it is an emergency. Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 55511.

8 Hospice team’s Thameswalk

FOUR members of the care team at Demelza Kent took on a 50km challenge to raise money for the children’s hospice. Amanda Heath, Debbie

McSwiney, Helen Rolls, and Vicky Tyler took 13 hours to complete the Thames Path Challenge in aid of Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Amanda, from Maidstone, works

as the clinical governance co- ordinator, while Debbie, from Ashford, is the care services lead for Kent. Vicky, from Faversham, is a children’s palliative care assistant. Sittingbourne-based

Maidstone Weald December 2016

Helen is the care co-ordinator. The route took them along the Thames riverbank, from Putney Bridge to Runnymede. They also raised over £1,000

through sponsorship, amusic and curry night as well as a quiz and fish and chips evening. The trek – which is equivalent to

about 30 miles – left them with a few blisters and missing a few toenails, but overall they were in good spirits. Their JustGiving page is still

open for donations at Helen-Rolls2.

Fine and chase illegal lorries Plans for small

Since December last year, Kent Po- MP Helen Whately addresses the transport select committee

ceptable and will not be tolerated in Kent. The hard shoulder is not for rest breaks – it is for the use of bro- ken down vehicles and the emer- gency services." In 10 months, Kent Police has

moved on 2,249 lorries, issued 476 graduated fixed penalty notices, im- mobilised nine vehicles at safe loca- tions until fineswere paid and dealt with 14 other offences. But Ukip borough councillor

Eddie Powell said: “The lorry driv- ers who obviously do not want to pay for parking just park up where they feel like and leave all sorts of unpleasant mess behind them. “I applaud the actions of these agencies but, on a local level, the problem is as bad as ever it was. Many people will agree with that. They need to issue a lot more tickets and enforce the fines by making sure the money is collected, otherwise there is no deterrent.” As part of their regular patrols, of-

ficers visit key locations including the A2 near Cobham and Canter- bury, the M2 Farthing Corner, the M20at junctions eight, 11 and 13 and the A20 at Capel-le-Ferne. Chief Inspector Tillotson said: "Long-distance drivers shouldknow that there are much better and more appropriate facilities for HGVs to take legally-required rest breaks such as the county’s various lorry parks. "Our message is simple – illegal

and unsafe parking on our county’s roads will not be tolerated and those travelling long distances should take responsibility for planning their journeys." Tory county councillor Gary

Cooke said: "We need to welcome the fact that the police are doing more than theywere.We can always do more.” Roads minister John Hayes will conduct a national survey to deter- mine where lorry spaces are needed.

trucker parks KENT County Council is considering a number of small lorry parks to accommodate lorries and their driver whomight otherwise park illegally. Between three and five as yet unidentified sitesmay be used to supplement a large car park on the M20 which will be used to meet the needs of Operation Stack. More than

MORE than 2,700 lorries have been dealt with by Kent Police for unsafe or illegal parking…but it could and should be more, it has been claimed.

Matthew Balfour

10,000 HGVs enter the UK daily though the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel. Most of the larger haulage firms

make provision for their vehicles to stop over at paid-for service station spaces or lorry parks. But other, smaller companies

and their drivers are prepared to take the risk of parking illegally. KCC spokesman on transport, Matthew Balfour, said that by this month, a firm of consultants would produce a commercial viability assessment for a shortlist of up to five sites for lorry parks in the northwest of the county.

Lorry driver sex

abuse sentence A LORRY driver with links across the country has been jailed for a number of serious sex offences. Adam Aitken (28), of Peterbor-

ough, was sentenced to 13 years at Peterborough Crown Court after admitting six serious sexual of- fences against children. The court heard how Aitken car-

ried out sexual abuse, including rape, on his young male victims dating back to 2008. Detective Chief Inspector Jon McAdam, said:“We believe he had links to the Bedfordshire, Glouces- tershire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lin- colnshire, Norfolk, Northampton shire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, West Yorkshire and Scotland areas. “We have trained officers avail-

able to anyone who would like to discuss their case. Please call the Operation Dunholt team at Cam- bridgeshire Constabulary on 101.” Aitkenwas also put on the sex of- fenders register and made subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

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